Sometimes when language is song-like and rhythmic, it’s because it’s coming from a core part of yourself that’s not interested in façade. It’s an inner layer. Like a hum, a vibrational hum in the throat
Meet the poets, essayists, translators, and fiction writers of MQR 57:2.
Pittsburgh’s self-styled Premier Poet answers the door in a shimmering, jewel-blue blouse, hair teased into a softer version of a mullet. He’s wearing understated make-up and a mild perfume, something between vanilla and baby powder. On his fingers, rings set with blue jewels catch the early evening light.
“I was born into a Detroit that was the fourth largest city in the United States, one of America’s greatest and most important cities. I’ve been aware of its significance since I was a child. Detroit is infused throughout my work, and I mean infused: its physical and metaphorical geographies, in a large and evolving sense, are an integral part of my imagination.”
On the dedication page for Henry Hart’s recent biographical work, The Life of Robert Frost: A Critical Biography, we find a quote from Yeats: “The intellect of man is forced to choose / Perfection of the life, or of the work.” Using it as the book’s guiding principle, Hart may be provoking us to ask whether those, like Frost, who “perfect the work” should also be expected to “perfect the life.”